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Control Your Android Phone Via PC With AirDroid

By - Source: Android Police | B 21 comments

AirDroid is a Wi-Fi-based file manager that Google should have implemented into Android since the early days.

Developer Sand Studio has quietly released an Android app that will literally transform the way you interact with your Android device, whether it's a tablet or smartphone. It's called AirDroid, and it allows users to connect to an Android device via an Internet browser and a Wi-Fi network connection. Sure, there are similar solutions available on the Android Market, but this version is easy to set up, easy to use, and features an incredibly polished Windows-like environment. Even more, the app is free to download and use.

Here's how it works: The end-user downloads and installs a small app on an Android smartphone or tablet. With Wi-Fi enabled, AirDroid spits out a local IP address and an additional password. The user then loads up an Internet browser (other than Internet Explorer) on a desktop or laptop, enters the address, enters the password when prompted, and then BAM! Full access to the device via a Wi-Fi network connection.

For starters, the desktop browser interface features a quick menu tucked away into the left side, and a string of shortcuts set against a virtual desktop (with wallpaper) that accesses the phone's messages, ringtones, apps, contacts, files, call logs and more. At the top of the page is a search field for locating apps on the Android Market, and on the right is a gadget showing phone statistics like internal storage use and SD storage use. Along the bottom of the page is a "taskbar" containing a battery meter and a Wi-Fi signal meter.

For consumers who spend most of their day glued to a desktop or laptop screen (cough), AirDroid makes answering text messages easy, as they will appear on both the phone and the desktop browser's Windows-like interface. Messages can be received and sent, and the app will even pull up contacts stored on the phone when creating a new message.

AirDroid is also a great way to back up your Android device. By hitting the "Apps" shortcut, users are greeted with two different lists: user apps and systems apps. For example, say your phone came with several games pre-installed, but you're worried that you'll never get them back if something happens to the OS. By hitting "export," AirDroid will make an APK backup and store it locally on your desktop's hard drive. Unfortunately, users can't uninstall carrier bloatware, but there are still means to uninstall other apps directly from the browser window.

In addition to texting and backing up apps, users can use AirDroid's "Files" app to move data back and forth from the PC to the smartphone or tablet without having to use a USB cable. The "Photos" app allows the user to view, set as wallpaper or delete pictures, and the "Music" app allows the user to play, export, delete or set music files as a ringtone (phone, notification, alarm).

As for the quick menu docked on the left, it contains five applications: new text message, new contact, show desktop, log off and a "more" which leads to the AirDroid team blog, Facebook page and Twitter page. The "taskbar" stretched across the bottom allows users to "minimize" open windows, thus emulating a Windows-type experience within an Internet browser.

On the Android side, the actual AirDroid app features six sections: Device, Apps, Files, Tasks, Settings and About. The "Device" section sports a graph reporting ROM, SD Card, Battery, CPU and RAM levels -- users can clear the crap running in the memory from here. The "Apps" section allows the user to install and remove apps from the device, and the "Files" section grants access to everything stored on the SD card. The "Tasks" section lists user and system processes (which you can stop), and the "Settings" section allows the user to set a predefined password, start the service when booting the device, keep awake and so on.

To be honest, AirDroid is a service Google should have included since the early days of Android. However, AirDroid may see a short lifespan or some kind of enforced limitation in the future, as the ability to port your apps to a desktop PC just opens the door wider for pirates who share the APK love on Android forums and repositories. Still, this is an awesome service that Android owners may find they cannot live without.

To see AirDroid in action, check out the clip below.

AirDroid features walk through

Discuss
Display all 21 comments.
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  • 2 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , December 2, 2011 3:09 PM
    Very nice. Off to download.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , December 2, 2011 3:10 PM
    Can you surf with it? Would AT&T consider this "tethering"?

    Your own personal back oriface.
  • 0 Hide
    sosofm , December 2, 2011 3:16 PM
    Nice app.
  • 0 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , December 2, 2011 3:25 PM
    Very cool indeed. No MMS messages though.
  • 0 Hide
    Cormag , December 2, 2011 3:44 PM
    Nice find! I am definitely gonna try this at home tonight. If nothing else I really like the ability to move music and shows to my phone without using the usb cable. One less cable on my desk would be nice.
  • -5 Hide
    del35 , December 2, 2011 3:55 PM
    Wonderful, but I am concerned about my privacy being undermined by Carrier IQ issues. How? Well, how do we know that your desktop navigation is not being logged by CIQ in your Android device? Really disappointed with this CIQ thing. But this application sounds great.
  • 2 Hide
    shadamus , December 2, 2011 4:03 PM
    As an alternative, I've been using "Remote Web Desktop" (https://market.android.com/details?id=net.xdevelop.rm&feature=related_apps) on my Android for about a year. It's been very convenient for me to manage my music files on my phone, and keep up on texts from my desktop computer, rather than pulling out my phone all the time.

    Remote Web Desktop works OTA via the phones internet connection, so you're not limited to using this functionality when you've got your phone connected to a wifi network. I access my phone (not on WiFi) from my desktop (wired broad-band) at work with no issues.
  • 0 Hide
    YasharF , December 2, 2011 5:58 PM
    Nothing new, most of these features and more have been available from pre-android days by FJ Soft's MyPhoneExplorer:

    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.fjsoft.myphoneexplorer.client&hl=en
    http://www.fjsoft.at/en/
  • 1 Hide
    lamorpa , December 2, 2011 6:59 PM
    So when I leave my phone sitting on my desk and I'm walking around with my desktop system, I can control the phone?
  • 0 Hide
    olaf , December 2, 2011 7:40 PM
    lamorpaSo when I leave my phone sitting on my desk and I'm walking around with my desktop system, I can control the phone?


    yes control the small mobile device with a big cluncky one :)  I'm not dissing the app i will use it i just find the walking around with the desktop funny.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , December 3, 2011 7:40 AM
    Don't have an Android device but it seems to defeat the point of a phone...
  • 0 Hide
    anony2004 , December 3, 2011 9:50 AM
    Been waiting for it for so long now!
  • 0 Hide
    in_the_loop , December 3, 2011 4:01 PM
    Nothing exciting or new here.

    I wonder if it is possible to connect to a laptop without a router.

    I feel that wireless access is most usefull when you have your laptop and your android phone and quckly want to access files or copy files between either device.

    Often I don't have a micro-usb to usb cable with me all the time.
    And it is more of a hazzle to fiddle with cables on for example a train when you just want to do a quick fix.

    Shouldn't it be possible since you can set up the phone as a wifi hotspot?
  • 1 Hide
    sam buddy , December 4, 2011 6:32 AM
    This is not new. Eg. Nokia's PC Suite and OVI Suite offered similar functionality, depending on the phone (talking about the older, Symbian phones). It was very convenient to text using the PC keyboard, install or uninstall apps, backup everything, and manage your contacts. But not through Wi-Fi, only Cable, BT and IR.
    So, I'll agree, this is something Google should have thought about much earlier. It's still not too late, though.
  • 0 Hide
    03flat4 , December 4, 2011 9:42 AM
    Looks like a moer refined version of KIES Air, that came with my SGS2. Definitely shold have been there before.
  • 0 Hide
    weblinx , December 27, 2011 9:29 PM
    Does it have to be the same IP Address? Wat if Im in the U.S. and the phone is abroad somewhere can I still access the phone?
  • 0 Hide
    weblinx , December 27, 2011 9:29 PM
    Does it have to be the same IP Address? Wat if Im in the U.S. and the phone is abroad somewhere can I still access the phone?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 8, 2012 4:09 AM
    this APP is excellent!, but is there a way, where i could connect may fone on my office Computer on a different network?
    like may office computer network in different from office wifi network... is there a way?

    Thanks Very much!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2012 7:11 AM
    only know the mobile number how to control it
  • 0 Hide
    jazzmistry , November 24, 2012 3:24 PM
    [100% WORKING TRICK]
    Control Your Android Through PC Without Data Cable via. AIRDROID.



    Control Your Mouse, Keyboard and Music with Your Android Phone via. WIFI.

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